18 Sep 2019
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New Telepathics - Single Review: Life On Other Planets

27 Mar 2019 // A review by Trevor Faville

The New Telepathics are an Auckland based ensemble with quite an extensive recording and performing history-and a history that deserves a thorough exploration. This is a refreshingly independently minded ensemble. The New Telepathics project a sound that presents as sophisticated, earthy, and delivered with considerable musical skill.

Life On Other Planets fades in with percussion, before unleashing a terrific opening riff- cleverly written in slow three time signature, which is only worth pointing out because of how effective that is in grabbing the listeners attention. Straight away, older listeners will hear echoes of that wonderful American ‘Urban’ funk' sound from the late 60's /early 70's- the dense instrumentation, male voices right up in the high register, the use of three- maybe more-voices for the chorus and vocal lines with those “gospel style” vibratos.

A technique that the great funk bands of the past used is to make sure that all the parts are interlocking-instruments/voices tend to have single lines (rather than chords) that sit alongside of each other (rather than on top)- with a particular focus on rhythm. The end result of this is a powerful “engine of groove”, where everyone, from lead vocals down, are involved in propelling a rhythmic feel that is pretty much irresistible. At the same time, the individual pars are clearly there if you want to listen- nothing is getting in the way of anything else.

Put simply, The New Telepathics have this idea mastered. Life On Other Planets is a compelling, dance-at-your-desk piece of music created by an ensemble that clearly has intelligence and a powerfully musical heart.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

Other Reviews By Trevor Faville

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30 Aug 2019 // by Trevor Faville
There is a group of New Zealand musicians who are really putting in some time around the touring circuit at the moment. It's cliche to describe them as ‘hard working’ - that's glib and a redundancy - but certainly, the work is getting done and it is showing in terms of their successes.
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Single Review: Blue River Baby
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The hard working Wellington based 'electric psychedelic soul and funk rock' ensemble Blue River Baby have released their self-titled and third single as a video. Blue River Baby clearly has the same evolution as Walk of Shame and Black Yard Town.
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Blue River Baby - Single Review: Black Yard Town
19 Feb 2019 // by Trevor Faville
The Blue River Baby band have been working and evolving in Wellington for the last two years or so, and this tune is a clear representation of the style and sound that they have developed. Black Yard Town moves through a range of tempo and dynamic changes in a funk/ soul context, with an arrangement that is in one way tight and at the same time fluid.
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Album Review: Waiuku College - Our Sound
09 Jan 2019 // by Trevor Faville
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Sometimes it’s good to approach writing a review for a new collection of music by listening to the music first, before reading any of the attendant press, and reviewer info. That way you listen to what you are hearing as opposed to what you are expecting.
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